Tuesday, December 17, 2013

family picture outtakes & the rage against perfection

this is our family picture that we sent with this year's Christmas cards. i love it because everyone is smiling naturally, and i took it in our front yard after church one Sunday morning. 

we have this tradition of taking our family picture in November to use on our Christmas cards in December. i always look forward to it: coordinating our outfits, finding the perfect spot in our yard, and booking a photographer. i don't know if my family looks forward to it, but they know it's coming.

the photo in our Christmas cards wasn't the first one out of the camera. but, we only took about 10 total before we got the one. there was no sweat or tears. all in all, it took about 20 minutes. the kids have done this what seems like a thousand times, so they knew the drill. no one was dragging their feet or being a grouchypants. it was perfect. (please don't hate me for this.)

he's camera-shy.

because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like bunny ears and a crazy face.

peace on Earth, yo.

what's with the rage against other people's perfection? it's not important to me that we portray perfection in our Christmas cards, or in any of our family photos for that matter. but i do believe perfection, in this case, is relative. because our family photo, and the process it took to get it, is perfect to me. because it's us. it's our front yard. it's our tradition.

sure, there have been times when getting a family picture was like pulling teeth. like the time we tried to get both dogs in the picture. that was ruff. (ha! get it?) or the time i was 11 weeks pregnant and no makeup or photoshop could hide how sick i was. the hoops we sometimes have to jump through to capture the "perfect" family photo can be funny. we can all relate. messy is human. it's good to "keep it real," but i would much rather celebrate someone's joy-moment: their perfect family photo. the one they chose to put on a Christmas card and send to all their friends and loved ones. can we please find the balance between being happy for others and at the same time knowing they are real like you and me? 

there is no need to feel bitterness toward other people's perfect. when other family's Christmas cards arrive in the mailbox, and their pictures are stunning, and they look like Christmas Card Models, please resist bitterness. don't be a hater. don't hope to god that there was sweat and tears involved to get that insanely adorable picture. that is their perfect. let them have it. as Pastor Gary Simons says, "someone else's blessing is not your de-blessing."

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.